Sunit Roy

Thanda matlab... Fogg?

No, not the deo, silly. The, erm, energy drink. At least that's what Sunny Leone says.

Over the past few years, the sale of energy drinks has been driven by changes in consumer lifestyles. Increased urbanisation, growing health consciousness, and rising disposable income among the Indian youth has increased the demand for non-carbonated drinks.

At the same time, long and erratic working hours, and the increasing occurrence of social gatherings are driving Indian consumers towards consumption of energy drinks. Such drinks are also widely consumed by adolescents as they claim to improve performance, endurance, and alertness.

With the aim to tap the energy drink market in India, which is currently at a nascent stage, but with a huge potential for growth, R Z International launched 'Gold Fogg', an energy drink, in February 2016. The beverage brand has now come up with its maiden ad campaign featuring brand ambassadors Sunny Leone and Jackky Bhagnani for the product.

Thanda matlab... Fogg?
The campaign titled 'GOLD FOGG Energy Drink... #RappaRap' narrates the story of today's youth, played by Leone and Bhagnani, who are planning their ideal date. To ensure Bhagnani's parents are not at home, he replaces his father's cold drinks with Gold Fogg energy drink so he (the father) feels refreshed and energised after a long day at work and plans an outing with his (Bhagnani's) mother. The ad went live on August 19, 2016, on digital platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and a few television channels.

Speaking about the campaign, Rahul Vinakiya, managing director, R Z International, says, "We opted for (Sunny) Leone as our brand ambassador as she perfectly suits our brand tagline 'Live Your Way'. She completely believes in living life on her terms. (Jackky) Bhagnani has a cool, youthful, and on-the-go attitude that fits in with the product image. He has been roped in for only one television commercial (TVC)."

The film, conceptualised by Aadheeraj Krishna of Hats On Advertising, the creative agency that has worked on the ad campaign, has been directed by Anand Karir. "The TVC has been released pan-India. For trade partners we're looking at news channels AajTak and Zee news, which have great TRPs, while for the youth, we are targetting music channels such as Channel V and 9XM," informs Vinakiya.

Thanda matlab... Fogg?
Thanda matlab... Fogg?
The energy drink market in India is currently dominated by Red Bull. Other players in this space include Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Monster Beverage, Spitz KG, Hector Beverages, Heinz India, Bisleri, Vedantika Herbals, and Dabur. "The Rs 700 crore energy drink market in India is growing at a rate of 20-25 per cent every year. While there are a number of factors that give rise to this segment such as increased number of social gatherings, urbanisation, long and tiring working hours, and rising disposable incomes, it is a still a niche and premium segment to get into. Though Red Bull is the market leader, there's a lot of opportunity for new entrants like ours," says Vinakiya.

Commenting on the new ad campaign, Prakash Goplani, managing director, Hats On Advertising, says, "We wanted to break the stereotype that the energy drink ads have and realised that the competition was obsessed with unrelated gimmicks. We wanted to establish the positioning of 'Live Your Way' among the TG. Thus, (Sunny) Leone with her 'live your way attitude' and millions of followers, was the ideal choice as ambassador for Gold Fogg. And, since Bhagnani, in Bollywood flicks 'F.A.L.T.U' and 'Youngistan', inspired youngsters to lead their lives their own way, we wanted to play on that."

Available in 250 ml and 300 ml ready-to-serve packs, the energy drink is developed by using innovative scientific technique from Poland with a very India twist. "Gold Fogg appeals to one and all. It is for the young and the young-at-heart, for college goers, sports enthusiasts and champions, office professionals, avid gymmers, and everyone who wishes to lead an on-the-go lifestyle," elaborates Vinakiya.

Agreeing with him, Goplani says, "It was tough to create a position for Gold Fogg in a category which is dominated by a single brand. We positioned the energy drink in such a way that it clearly highlighted the functional benefit and also the philosophy of the brand. The overall budget for the whole campaign is around Rs five crore."

The product portfolio by R Z International also includes fruit beverages such as 'Mish Mash', a fine blend of apple and fizz, making it a bubbly and fruity drink, 'Mint Masty', a refreshing drink with a unique desi touch to it with a perfect blend of kiwi, mint, apple, grapes, and lime, and 'Fruit Kiss', a refreshing squash containing real fruit pulp, made of fruits such as apple, strawberry, mango, peach, guava, grape, and the passion fruit, all packed into one.

Currently available in Western and Southern India, the brand thoroughly studied the market readiness for this kind of product before launching it. According to Vinakiya, the company is based in Bengaluru, and hence, starting off with Karnataka and expanding it over the region made sense. "While in the Western region, Mumbai is the biggest market for functional drinks, it has a lot of influence on neighbouring states like Gujarat," he says.

Will the ad influence youngsters to opt for a new drink?

Gold Fogg and FOGG (the perfume/deodorant brand) are quite similar in name. We asked our expert if it will help influence the youth to go for the drink.

Thanda matlab... Fogg?
Sameer Aasht, founder director, Alma Mater Biz Solutions, feels that although R Z International, the company behind the energy drink is different from Vini, the company behind the deo, for mass consumers there may be a sense of familiarity. "Consumers from India and most Eastern countries prioritise trust and familiarity when it comes to building brand relationships wherein consumers have embraced completely unrelated categories under an umbrella (Master) brand. Given such emotional territory, the energy drink is not too far indeed! Also, given that energy drinks will be distributed at chemist shops and the local 'kirana' store where Fogg (scent/deo) is already present, there is synergy in the two, especially for Indian consumers, who will take it in their stride and may contribute to the business in the short-term. The code for brands in India is to lead with familiarity and trust and deliver high value," he says.


According to Aasht, the ad film feels amateurish, and low on production values. "I am sure the Gold Fogg team would have done its due diligence before venturing on this path. The Indian market is large and extremely diverse. The psychographic segment that drives imagery for Red Bull is a lot more global, educated, affluent, and high on the cool quotient," he says. But, he feels that India has an equally large psychographic segment that will gravitate towards Gold Fogg, which is likely to be affluent, but may not be sophisticated. "As far as a brand is able to create a customer base and generate business, it will not matter whether it lives up to the holy grail of brand moralists, expecting high production values. But, if its target is to be upmarket, the ad is unlikely to achieve the same," he says.

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